Homey Community Forum

Athom's Decision for Mobile First and removing of the Desktop Interface/WEB UI in Homey v2.0.0


#104

nice thanks for the tip!!


#105

Can i be number 3?


#106

I bought Homey because of the Windows client - and no I did not read 83 pages of blogs to find out that the GUI would go away.

That should in reality have been marked with BIG letters on Athom’s web page where it was listed as a unique feature even when I bought mine.

But in reality there is no excuse for not having a Windows GUI. These days multiplatform development platforms make it quite easy to develop across Android, iOS & Windows with only little extra work required. But many still makes “Small Screen” app’s - and then just skin them for tablets – giving a lousy User Experience on tablets. So I still have high hopes that Athom really designs Tablet interface that can exceed the Windows usability.

There are some other Homey issues. The sand-boxing is good in some ways - but highly wasteful in regards to memory and resources. That should have been the main focus for the re-development. But Athom’s solution was to make a new Homey with more memory to offset the bad sandbox design.

3rd party app’s - there are lots of lovely app’s - but there are also a lot of “forgotten” apps that no longer gets serviced and updated. The best way to solve that issue is to find a way to compensate developers. That could be donations managed by Athom - with source code kept in “escrow” so if a developer stops development - others can continue and get future revenue. So a Git hosted/owned by Athom.

I’m not angry with Athom for crippling V2 - I’m just disappointed - I thought I found my future home controller and now I have to start searching again. Until then I’ll stay on 1.5.13 unless something really useful makes its way from Athom like a great made tablet interface.


#107

So now we are forced to use a ‘cloud’. I thought homey was for ‘home’ usage, not clouds.

The system info I’m missing is the ‘geek stuff’. In the past this info helped me to detect and solve time sync problems (npt sync did not work on homey).

It is a pity, the impression given at kickstarter time was that homey would also be an open and ‘for geeks’ apparatus. Now it seems to be a ‘we know what is good for you’ policy.
I would never have supported this project if I had known it would go this way.


#108

Yes agreed, let everyone decide for them selves. Today we have the choice of using the app, using the app, or using the app. Which one shall I choose :tired_face:


#109

In essence there is not much changed regarding cloud usage between 1.x and 2.0.
If you look at it your insights are still stored on Homey. Only that Insights app is a hosted web page (URL) centrally maintained by Athom. When loaded your browser provides you the view of your data from Homey. You could name it some kind of web interface only limited now to the insights.

I think almost all info from the stuff for geeks is available. Most from the app, some only from the developer web-interface. The ntp settings them self have not been available there. Personally I am missing the detailed IP configuration for the various pseudo Interfaces including the IPv6 addresses. I admit I am very geeky… Can you tell me the other info that is missing and was available before?

Again I can’t aggree… The openess in honey in 1.5.x and before and now with 2.0 did not really change for what I see. Yes many APIs are now better documented and stricter in consistency. Also many functions are more secure or require a higher default privilege to prevent ‘un-authorized’ changes in flows or settings. But Homey self wasn’t open before and the APIs and Apps SDK are updated and more mature.
I don’t remember Athom advertising something as an open system (like you can fiddle with in fe rasbian or any Linux system)
But with the SDK and API I guess you can do functional the same now with 2.0 as before in Homey v1.x. Please let me know if I missed anything!

Almost… I guess they know what is best for them. It is their company and they need to earn money. Imo it is great that I still don’t have to pay subscriptions or buy it with a energy contract. I am sure the have choose carefully between the for them possible options to have the best chance to survive in the current domotica market.

Personally I like to make flows on a big computer screen, I use Windows most of the day. But I see their decision as a good and necessary step. I use Nox now on the PC but also Athoms app split screen on my Android tablet.
I prefer not to complain about this, I already started to look at the way I can extend Homey’s functionality like homeyDa.sh and the spinoff to create a web based flow editor or Erik’s flow viewer or how I can support them as I am in now way a good web developer.

I think only a positive vibe and constructive work by the community can boost the growth of Athom so they can hire more developers and surprise us with new awesome features.

Good point taking it out of context … My point was you don’t have to agree and decide by yourself what you think is best. as quoted:

You can choose to agree with Joakim_Andersson or just have your own opinion. You choose…

You can also choose to stay disappointed, angry, or…
Or be just adaptive as there is a big market for gadgets used from the evil phones… You don’t have to like it as there is nothing better for you now.
Choose for an other system that provides a nice web interface of suites your requirements better than Homey now does.
Choose to be constructive and help make Homey better and maybe find enough enthusiast’s to build a community web interface.


#110

So we have still have a ‘web’ app for insights, although via a roundabout way. Strange.

You seem to be knowledgeable about the whole ecosystem, so I guess you know what you could see in the geek stuff screen. I can’t show you anymore cause my homey now runs 2.0 and I cant’ seem to go back to 1.5.

Yes homey wasn’t as open as the impression it gave during the kickstarter project (when you show all the detailed pictures of the homey circuity etc you surely give the impression it will become a very open system) and I did not use it as much as I would have wanted/expected.

Today homey is nothing more that other domotica controllers in the world and that soon will be dominated by the googles and alike. Why? Cause homey is just as limited and closed as those giants.
Look for example to the dreambox world (satellite receivers/multimedia boxes). The choose to build the hardware and initial firmware and opened up the sources so external developer teams could create
updated firmwares. (yes dreambox itself is more or less dead but that is caused by mismanagement in other areas…)

I’m not angy, disappoited maybe, but mostly I feel sorry for athom to go that way.
Although I like the whole hardware concept, I’ll find other ways to do home automation if their policy does not change. And who knows I’ll open up the box and see what I can reuse in that case…

So yes this meant to be constructive, but choose your own way to interpret this.


#111

Well, on the other hand Homey got more open: Athom focusses on the API and lets us decide what to do with the data.


#112

Homey 's API is as open as can be, you can do litterly everything with their API, everything you see on the developer pages, everything you see in the mobile app, it is all possible to recreate using the (web) API, as they all use the API themselves.

I don’t see Google, or any other controller have this amount of change ability with their api, not even in the slightest.


#113

I was new to the Homey community just when v2 was rolled out and I just got to try the v1.5 before updating to v2. I think the overview in v1.5 was way better, but I love the functionality in v2 and the fact that it’s mobile! I still miss horizontal view and I think this is crucial to get a good overview of flows etc. Keep up the good work!


#114

While the mobile app has improved I would say that not being able to manage your home environment is a major drawback.

I work from home during evenings and weekends and from time to time on weekdays. This means that I’m sitting in front of my computer long periods of time at home. Not being able to manage my home from the computer is a considerable setback.

Mouse and keyboard (with easily accessible cut/copy/paste) is far superior to using a touch enabled device when it comes to editing flows.

I would really love a universal app for windows 10 (should be possible to port from the iOS or android app), I believe this would help a large set of users with a small amount of work needed. A web version of the client would also be nice.


#115

I think you misunderstood me. It is a bandaid solution because it gives a somewhat solution to a problem that was introduced by Athom themselves.

Believe me the effort is really appreciated but it sucks that devs have to concentrate on creating such solutions instead of being able to use their skills and talents to further apps making Homey the right choice for a smart home


#116

For me it was love at first sight when I found out about Homey. After running a Tellstick for a couple of years, eventually having had enough with the hardware problems (433MHz that would just cease to work, and then having to migrate everything to a new GW) I was hooked. A gateway that could run about any known device, and then some? And you could even build your own apps to expand functionality? With a decent desktop app that made it possible to build complex and advanced routines you could only dream of with a different brand? It was heaven.

This is where I think you went wrong, Athom. You don’t seem to realize how powerful your concept was. And I am a concept developer, and can tell what makes a great concept. Trust me, it wasn’t the hardware that made Homey great. It was the possibilities. With a Homey you could build a smart home. Not a remotely controlled home. Not an automated home. But a smart home with a certain amount of logic and deduction.

What made this possible was the flow editor. Yes, it had a few flaws, I admit. Having an entire column for the trigger when you could have only one trigger was just wasteful. If you for example want your bed lamp to turn on when you enter your bedroom, when an alarm goes off or when you get an email, you need three different flows, although it’s only the triggers that differ. But there was a simple workaround. Create one flow for the logic, and three different flows for the triggers that call the flow with the logic.

This meant that users with a lot of devices and a lot of ideas would end up with a lot of apps and even more flows. I have about 70 devices, and probably about 300 flows. And trust me, it’s just impossible to maintain that on a phone. I made sure I put most of the flows in folders to organize them. But in the mobile app, the folder structure is more or less invisible. Since I have to scroll forever I usually go past these tiny labels that says that the flows below belong to a certain folder.

I think the problem is that the people at Athom didn’t realize just how advanced setups their users have built with their Homeys. Yes, the new mobile app is good for remote control. To turn devices on or off. But you don’t need a Homey for that. There are plenty of other solutions that does exactly that. And they are a lot cheaper.

This also means that users that already have extensive home automations on other systems will be less inclined to switch to Homey. To add all devices and then build automations for all of them on a mobile phone? Not by a longshot.

To me, this year is about make or break for Athom/Homey. You have proven this concept. And the feedback about ditching the desktop app/web interface have proven the importance of a desktop app (or maybe even an IDE). This means that you can expect others to build similar solutions. And if you want to keep the initiative, you need to rethink this decision. Or you might not be around for long.

I really hope you will rethink this, because I really want you to stay in business. Don’t let one bad decision mean the end of your entire platform.


#117

Send emails, athom doesn’t read this.


#118

They most likely do. But by claiming they don’t, they’re not obliged to answer. I’m not after any kind of answer, though. I just try to point out why they are about to kill their own product.


#119

I bought homey recently due to the companies commitment to privacy, the range of support protocols and also because i saw quite a few positive reviews and tests. Delivery was more than fast (Netherlands-Austria in 1,5days).
I was quite surprised that there is no Web UI any more. I do have Android devices. But i do not have Google Services installed, so the App tells me every few clicks, that it needs Google Services and won’t work without it.
So here are a few things i hope the athom devs will think about or address:

  • If the only way to configure homey is an Android App which needs Google Services, there should be a big warning on the product page and during the buying process (i can’t say anything regarding the iphone App). There should be an apk to download which does not require Google Services to run.

  • Nevertheless i was able to do the initial setup, which led me to some additional questions:
    During the setup process, when i type in the wifi code for my network, it looks for me like i do this setup through an athom server. Or is this a webserver instance on my homey device? If this setup runs through an athom server, it means my wifi code is leaving my home, which is not a safe way to do it (even through https)…

  • After the setup, i did not find a lot of menu points under “Privacy”, Just Enable Home/Away Detection. If one of the main company commitments is to privacy i think there should be at least some more options like:

  • Disable mics (i thought i saw it in youtube reviews, but i can not find it in the App / v2)

  • Disable outbound communication to the homey servers.

  • A clear overview which userdata has been sent and the possibility to select want i want to submit.

Personally i find it very inconvenient, that i need to do the setup of a whole flats/house automation on a little smartphone and can not do it on a big screen.

The whole homey idea is really good and one big + for me was that i can buy a product from a european company which seems to value privacy and security.
But for the moment i at least have my doubts if i can trust the companies promises, since i clearly do not have full control over homey outbound communication, which is quite dissapointing.

I could isolate homey in the network via firewall rules, but that would be a worst case scenario…


#120

Please file a request on, think it’s a valid question : https://support.athom.com/hc/nl/requests/new

You have to connect to Homey’s setup-wifi and the data is stored on Homey so don’t think it goes to the outside world…

If you bought Homey recently you probably don’t have a microphone. On the 2016 models in FW2 there’s
afbeelding
but my 2019 model doesn’t have this…

I presume you read the (since yesterday revised) privacy-statement:
https://www.athom.com/en/homey/privacy/


#121

Thanks for the quick reply and suggestion, i just filed a request :grinning:

Thanks for the clarification that is comforting to now!

Ah, ok, actually i did not get the difference between the models till you explained, thanks. At least for me, that is quite nice, since i bought homey because of the broad protocol support and privacy promise and not voice recognition.

Yeah i did. And it is really good that athom express this so clearly!
But what i miss is (or i overread it), how homey is connected to the athom server.
Since i do have a firewall which does not allow any inbound traffic by default, homey must initiate a connect to an athom server on its own (outbound, which the firewall allows) or maybe even creates a vpn to an athom server, otherwise i would not now any explanation why i can operate homey from outside my LAN / from the internet with a firewall in between…

Now i can understand that this functionality is needed so that people with no technical background regarding networking can use it / plug and play…

But there should be an “expert option” to disable such a behavior / to be able to disable any connection to the outside / only operate homey with the app when in the LAN or. f.e. tunnel via ssh or portforwarded.

In my circle of friends and acquaintances, a lot of them are sysadmins like me or work in other technical fields, but no one uses home automation because of the general distrusted that f.e. Alexa or Google Home,… is just spying at you or as for some other companies, just do not care about security of their devices.
It is really amazing what homey does better then its competitor regarding that because after my first look and also reading over the athom website i do believe them they care and homey itself looks for me much more secure then the rest.
I am sure, they would win even more customers with just a few more security features.

If i missed some infos regarding my points, i am happy about hints and explanations :slight_smile:


#122

I don’t understand oAuth2 enough, maybe someone else can answer this or better ask your question on slack: https://slack.athom.com/ where great minds dwell who know all :slight_smile:


#123

My investment in Homey is € 300,00. For my sensors I paid a multitude of this amount. So switching my controller won’t hurt that much. If Athom doesn’t come up with a decent solution for the missing webif and there is a good alternative (which for sure will come) I won’t hesitate a second to switch. I really don’t understand Athom. Every company should do risk-management. There have been many, many complaints about the missing webif/windows app that for sure will have a negative effect on the turnover. Losing customers IMO is a risk which doesn’t seem to be addressed. With the new API for Athom it should be easy to bring back the webif. Why are they so stubborn only focussing on the phoneapp? They could make a difference with the other HA solutions and fill the gap in between the rubbish and professional systems. A missed opportunity as far as I am concerned.